Creating a customer appreciation birthday recognition program

People love to feel valued and remembered and your clients are no different.  Customer loyalty is built through consistent and meaningful interactions with clients. As a small business owner, you need to find impactful and cost-effective ways to connect with your clients in-between their appointments and purchases. One way to do this is to start a client birthday recognition program.
I had an aunt who would send me a card with a dollar in it for every year I was old. And every year, I would race to the mailbox hoping her card had arrived – such a fun and memorable experience. I'm sure you can recall similar experiences as a child. How do you create a similar sense of excitement around your clients' birthdays? If you can do this effectively, it is a great way to help grow your business.

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Birthday! I hope your day is special, and as always, if there's anything I can do to help you, don't hesitate to let me know. I appreciate your business.

Ask your clients for their birthday information

First you need to know your clients' birthdays.  So, start by just asking your clients for their birthday information. Tell them you want to recognize them on their special day. You don't need the year just the month and date. Put this information in your client relationship management tool, so you can keep it organized and accessible for your birthday recognition program.

Wish your clients happy birthday on your business social media pages.

Hopefully, you have taken advantage of the ecosystem that exists in social media. Use it as a tactic for your client birthday recognition program. For example, you could acknowledge your clients on your business Facebook page in a creative and engaging way. You might have a unique monthly celebration theme, perhaps using seasonal messages. Just make sure you don't dilute your recognition efforts by introducing too many messages. You want each client to feel like the birthday message was personalized and made just for them. Make sure to tag your clients name so they will see you mentioned them. Here's an engaging Facebook post from a local cupcake establishment.

Send your clients a personalized birthday email

A good client relationship management tool should offer a mechanism to send birthday emails. It is even better when the system is automated and will send the information automatically on your behalf. Either way, create a custom message for your clients. Recognize their special day with kind words of inspiration, perhaps a little professional humor.  But, in every case, be sure to thank them and let them know that they are important.

You can jump start your birthday recognition program with GoNotes. Sign up for free.

Invite your clients to connect for a birthday gift or discount on next service.

Birthday recognition programs are intended first and foremost to recognize and reward your clients. The secondary objective is to incentivize the client to have another interaction with your business. Encourage them to stop by and connect with you by offering them a birthday gift. Perhaps offer them a discount. Can you offer them an upgraded service? Do you have a product that you can give as a birthday gift? These once a year offers could lead to another year of loyal service, so make them count. You can also enhance your gift by partnering with other local businesses such as your local coffee house, ice cream store, bakery, etc. See if they have additional items or coupons that you can add to your clients' birthday bags.

Be smart with your marketing expenditures

In your small business, you have to be mindful about every expenditure. A birthday recognition program doesn't need to be lavish or time intensive. If set up correctly, a client birthday recognition program can be strong marketing tool that will increase client loyalty and drive repeat business.
This past year, I had several businesses who sent me messages on my birthday.  My insurance agent, my dentist, even my local coffee shop. This small action of remembering my birthday helped strengthen my commitment to their business. As a secondary benefit, I was also reminded of their business which spurred me to take action, i.e. ate breakfast at the coffee shop and scheduled an appointment to review my insurance policy.

Looking for more ways to recognize and stay connected with your clients?

Show appreciation to clients with personalized gifts.

Ways to say thank you to your clients.

Turn your contacts into loyal clients in 4 easy steps.

Do you have a client birthday recognition program? What have you done that was the most appreciated by clients? What resulted in the most positive impact on your business? Please share your insights.